It’s that the time of year again, I find myself atop the seasonal slagheap, bejewelled and dappled it may be with russet browns and burnt orange hues perfectly framed by a smoky blue sky… Pap! ‘tis no more than a beauty born of deceit and lies. Soon the relentless hand of time will shove me gently from the summit, down, down towards the wilful jaws of winter, sliding hopelessly through v-shaped geese heading for warmer climbs, backward clocks, skeletal trees until finally tumbling through the gnashing teeth of misery where we flounder in the darkness and cold for what seems like eternity, our only friend is endless, ceaseless despair…
My bike ride yesterday afternoon had that awful feeling of cessation about it. As the motorcycle season begins preparation for hibernation, my ride, following a very disappointing Moto GP (the last few races have been, actually) was notable for two reasons. Firstly the leaves are beginning to turn, I was passing through the same stretch of road as last week, in that short space of time things had deteriorated, the green of the trees and fields has been compromised with a telling twinge of brown ‘other’. The second dead give away was the air, not so much the temperature, it was fairly mild but the freshness of it belied something that had hardened, within it there was an element of strength, wicked advantage even. Soon the air will be perfumed with a note of wood smoke before collapsing into a default odour of sheer bleakness. Shit.
The ride was still a triumph despite being buffeted extensively on some of the faster open roads –my neck is growing scaffolding- and made all the better for a visit to my month old niece. She’s beginning to focus now and for the first time actually looked directly at me. She looked confused, bemused and perplexed but within it all there was something in the way of recognition, I stared at her little blue haematite eyes as they grasped at all these new images before her, then her little face became frozen in a visage of shock and turned colour of plum, she burped loudly in my face. She is one of us. Not you, us.
The weekend was largely pleasant. Following the hangover on Friday, and the fact I’d not had an alcohol free for a fortnight, I decided that I’d abstain that very night. Frankly, I was feeling quite jaded from the boozy past few weeks, I was exhausted enough to be able to watch the BB finale and go off to sleep pretty much unchallenged by the screams from the bottles in the kitchen. At 7pm James called me asking if I fancied a pint, how could I refuse? We met at 9pm in my local and sat under the pergola in the garden, it was truly the last day of summer. We supped ale and chatted away, I’m glad I made it out despite not committing to my intended plan, we’ve been friends practically from birth (despite the fact he dropped a kettle on my head when we were three) so there is no pressure for either party to perform, it’s the purest form of relaxation, really.
I went to bed before 1 am and awoke at 10.30. Myfwt was supposed to have called me the previous evening following a night out on the tiles with work colleagues; I made a cup of tea and gave her a ring. She answered, clearly still pissed from the night out but also suffering the early stages of what would be a behemoth hangover. She softly requested I came to get her following each sentence with a nervous laugh, this wasn’t a good sign.
When I arrived at her house she appeared looking as beautiful as ever but as if recently electrocuted. She rigidly got into my vehicle grasping a bottle of water and gulping back last night’s entertainment. We arrived back at the flat and I put her to bed following a tentative sandwich. In the afternoon I met up with my mate Gerry, we had a couple of points and caught up. Bang went my second intention to abstain. Went I got back Myfwt had just made it to the couch, she wasn’t at all well but was gradually coming to life. We watched films as I imbibed steadily and I accidentally pulled off a 3am one, Myfwt having gone to bed sensibly some four hours earlier.
Subsequently last night I managed to stay off the pop. I knew it was the right course of action and today I feel all the better for it, so much so I decided to cycle in. I’ve noticed as I finish off Monday’s blog that the sun had just come out. That’s autumn for you, a googly-bowling bastard bounder.
This is out of sync…